„Reflecting on how we use public health data is crucial“

Thanks to electronic health records, 96 percent of all insured persons in Austria are "transparent" patients. ITA-researcher Tanja Sinozic pleads for a comprehensive evaluation of the risks and consequences of this new development.

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There are many positive examples of innovations in patient data in the health sector. These include computerised administration in doctors' surgeries, electronic patient ID cards and digital exchange of diagnostic reports and images, which have often contributed to smoother workflows and services.

However, the continuous expansion of stored data, enabled functions and created connections raises some crucial questions: How is the data used? Who has access? What are the risks of adding new functions to the system, such as recording immunisations?

In her Dossier on ELGA, ITA researcher Tanja Sinozic points out the need to adapt technical systems to new challenges: "It is a matter of further developing systems in such a way that they are not only secure, but also take into account social needs such as free will, privacy and autonomy in the storage and retrieval of digitised patient information.”